Senate tie shoots down ‘parent trigger’ again in Florida

TALLAHASSEE – When it comes to “parent trigger,” history repeats itself.

A tie vote in the Florida Senate on Tuesday effectively killed a measure to give parents a greater voice in turning around schools that have failed two years in a row  under the state grading system. Supporters will have to try again next year.

The vote followed an hour of emotional debate, where opponents charged it with being a stalking horse for a “corporate takeover” of public schools, but supporters said it was a way to give parents a voice in consistently failing schools.

Opponents included Palm Beach County’s Democratic senators Joe Abruzzo and Jeff Clemens.

As it did last year, a companion bill passed the House earlier in the session.

The bill was sponsored by Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland.

Even an amendment that watered down the bill by giving the final say over school turnaround options to local school boards rather than the state board of education failed to garner enough Senate support.

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